The official Homepage of the Australian Open found the perfect quote to express what might happen sooner or later: “Without wishing to worry Roger Rasheed unduly, he might want to start taking an interest in the “positions vacant” page in the paper.”
In fact the 22 year old French appears to change his coaches as much as some of us change their socks. Some last only a a few days, others managed to work with him for more or less 6 months. His current Australian coach, Roger Rasheed, is one of them. The former coach of Lleyton Hewitt (from June 2003 until January 2007) can be more than proud of his work done so far with the 193cm tall athlete. In fact, the most obvious change is Gael’s physique: he put on 2.5 kg of muscles during the winter break. The rather tall Monfils has always been a good athlete, let’s remember some of his 5 set performances in recent years at the French Open namely, but never was that muscular. This has now changed. Yet, who works on one skill, is likely to neglect another one, which in Gael’s case might be his speed and endurance. This leads us to his Aussie Open 2nd round match against the Austrian Koubek where he seemed “puffing and sweating and looking the worse for wear”, as australianopen.org puts it.
Monfils’s explanation thereafter was that indeed he thinks he lost some speed, but their physical conditioning is still in progress, so he’ll either grow into his new physical shape or lose a pound or two.
Anyways, it looks like their cooperation is going to break the records and is going to last longer then his other coaches, and if Monfils really grows into his new shape and gets some more regularity, he might be very interesting to follow this season!
To finish, just a list of some of Monfils’ previous coaches:
(All pretty famous French coaches and former professionals)